06.24.14 Good morning. It’s Tuesday, June 24, 2014, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The US/Portugal game more than delivered for broadcasters ESPN and Univision, scoring as the most-watched US match ever for both channels. ESPN’s telecast of the dramatic game actually ranked as the most-viewed soccer match in the United States ever, across all networks, averaging 18,220,000 viewers based on a 9.6 HH US rating, according to Nielsen, while the rating ranked as the highest-rated men’s soccer telecast of all time. WatchESPN had a 490,000 average minute audience, and total of 1,373,000 viewers and 61,691,000 minutes viewed.
On Univision, the game was the most viewed US match on Univision Deportes history with 6.5 million total viewers. Univision Deportes out delivered the opening US match by 35% with Total Viewers and +31% with Adults 18-49. So far, Univision Deportes’ coverage of the 2014 World Cup is pacing ahead of its 2010 World Cup coverage by 48% among Total Viewers.
ESPN carries the 2014 NBA Draft presented by State Farm on Thursday at 7p, marking the 12th straight year the channel has televised the event. Rece Davis hosts coverage from the ESPN main set with Jay Bilas, Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons. ESPN NBA analyst Tom Penn offers front office expertise and ESPN Basketball Analyst Fran Fraschilla will cover International prospects. ESPN’s NBA Draft Preview Show will air Wednesday at 7p on ESPN2.
Speaking of draft coverage, NBCSN offers live coverage of the 2014 NHL Awards and 2014 NHL Draft this week. Coverage of the 2014 NHL Awards begins tonight at 7p on the network from Las Vegas with Mike “Doc” Emrick and analyst Eddie Olczyk announcing the cover athlete for EA Sports’ NHL 15. Emrick and Olczyk will be featured as the lead commentary team in NHL 15, slated to be released on Sept. 9 of this year. NBCSN offers live coverage of the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft on Friday at 7p.
In Canada, Rogers unveiled its 2014-15 NHL national broadcast schedule under the first year of its new deal with the league, delivering double the number of games on free over-the-air TV and twice as many Hockey Night in Canada Saturday night games than ever before for Canadians. In total, Rogers will deliver 350 national regular season games across nine networks, including CBC, City, Sportsnet (East, Ontario, West, and Pacific), Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360 and FX Canada. Highlights from the Rogers 2014-15 NHL national broadcast schedule include Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey starting Wednesday, Oct. 8 with the Canadiens/Maple Leafs, followed Vancouver/Calgary. At least one Canadian team is featured in 35 Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey games, including nine all-Canadian matchups, and eight doubleheaders throughout the season. On Oct. 11, the company debuts Hockey Night in Canada and Sunday Night Hockey on Oct. 12.
Also in Canada, TSN announced that Rod Smith would serve as the new host of the CFL on TSN. He will join analysts Matt Dunigan, Chris Schultz, Jock Climie, Milt Stegall, and Paul LaPolice.
Tennis Channel locked in a deal with Armstrong for a multiyear carriage agreement in time for Wimbledon. Armstrong started rolling out Tennis Channel in a number of markets, including Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Youngstown, Ohio, with the company’s entire customer footprint across five states expected to have access to the network by later this year. As part of the launch, Armstrong is offering customers TV Everywhere access to Tennis Channel.
In other distribution news, Back9Network landed its first television carriage agreement, a multi-year deal with DIRECTV. The golf lifestyle network will launch on DIRECTV on Sept. 29th, with nearly 1,100 hours of original programming in its first year, including ten original primetime series, Live morning, midday, and evening shows, as well as a variety of golf lifestyle programming covering travel, real estate, food, fashion, courses and equipment. Back9Network will be located on DIRECTV channel 262.
Brian Rolapp is in. Are you? The 2014 Cynopsis Sports Summit is set for NY on Aug. 19-20 this year. Don’t miss out on some of the industry’s most dynamic and influential speakers breaking down the most important issues of the industry, tackling headlines, sponsorship, broadcast, data and more! The agenda/list of speakers for the Summit and this year’s Women of Action will be announced in mere days.
BTN lined up a series of feature segments, sit-down interviews and in-depth analysis ahead of the NBA Draft, and will offer a 60-minute NBA Draft Preview edition of Big Ten Basketball Report at 7p on Wednesday. Dave Revsine hosts alongside analyst Jim Jackson. In addition to the preview show, BTN will also slate programming on Wednesday and Thursday to the NBA Draft by replaying some of last season’s best basketball games featuring these student-athletes’ standout performances.
NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 101st Tour de France officially launches today with the Tour de France Preview Show hosted by Todd Harris at 9p on NBCSN. The show will take an in-depth look at the famed race and offer interviews with past Tour de France winners Chris Froome (2013),Bradley Wiggins (2012), Andy Schleck (2010), and Alberto Contador (2007, 2009), as well as the race route, profiles of competing cyclists, and historical moments. The Tour de France begins Saturday, July 5, at 6a on NBCSN with Stage 1.
CBS Sports offer a one-hour special on Sunday at 2p, entitled PGA TOUR 2014: The Life presented by Visionworks, examining “that inner circle, the sacred trust, the men and women charged with the visualization and execution of the player’s goals.” Produced by PGA TOUR Entertainment, the show highlights the faces behind the likes of Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk and Henrik Stenson.
Continuing the gold theme, Golf Channel is extending Morning Drive this morning from 7-11a to air live coverage of Tiger Woods’ pre-tournament press conference from the Quicken Loans National, which is scheduled for 10:30a.
Last week’s quote from NCAA President Mark Emmert continues to make waves. Following his comparison of paid college athletes to the minor leagues and stating “minor league sports aren’t very successful either for fan support or for the fan experience,” Pat O’Conner, President/CEO of Minor League Baseball has added his voice to hit at the statement. In the public commentary, found at milb.com, he wrote “So, Dr. Emmert, there’s no denying that minor league sports are in fact immensely successful in regard to fan support and fan experience. And Minor League Baseball is thriving as an alternative to other more costly entertainment options. We have the thrills of a theme park, the emotions of a good movie, the element of surprise at a concert and the cuisine of your favorite restaurant, all wrapped up in one event and taking place in 70 ballparks on any given summer night.” He then added, “Please accept this as an open invitation Dr. Emmert, join the American people and attend a Minor League Baseball game this summer.”
Cynopsis is introducing a new web feature called "In Case You Missed It," which is a quick, concise, roundup of the top stories of the previous week: Check it out every Monday at InCaseYouMissedIt.
After an astonishing last-minute tie for the USA/Portugal match, brands and fans moved to focus on Monday’s matches. As the Netherlands clinched a spot to the next round and Spain won their last game of the tournament, brands emphasized their marketing towards the Mexico vs. Croatia match-up.
The most interactive players (Budweiser, Volkswagen, Adidas, Puma) continued posting their usual content. What was interesting to see was how newcomer brands attempted to differentiate themselves through the ‘clutter’.
Sounds of the World Cup
Monster, a headphone manufacturer, began tweeting images of their headphones with custom team colors featured in the design. When the tournament began, they had no previous interaction with World Cup social conversations. Based off of the response in engagement from other headphone providers, the value of engaging in social conversation became evident to Monster. Did they view FIFA’s mandate banning players from wearing Beats as a level playing field or was Monster just late to the game?
The Official Ball is Ballin’
Adidas created a character and twitter account for the official World Cup ball. Reaching two million followers this past weekend, @brazuca’s engagement numbers have been significantly higher than other brands. As a result, Adidas has created a brand extension for themselves. Not only does the ball tweet, it is humanized in significant plays. When goal line technology is being used to determine the validity of a goal, the @brazuca tweets,“Trust me. Goal.#ballin”,resulting in 16 thousand engagements.@brazuca answered Ghana’s celebration dance with,“Pretty sweet moves. The dancing wasn’t bad either.#ballers”, resulting in 794 engagements.
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120 Sports is going live on Wednesday, and announced that GEICO, Nissan, Transamerica and Verizon Wireless have joined as the official launch partners. "120 Sports is thrilled to work with such a robust team of forward-thinking creative brands as we join forces to introduce a new, never before seen, all-digital sports network," said Jason Coyle, president of 120 Sports. Branded messaging for each launch partner will be “created in real time and organically integrated into the hot topics of the 120 Sports viewing experience each day.” Original branded features will also be intuitively published at contextually relevant times throughout the programming.
The numbers are in and the Winter Olympics added a cool $600 million to US ad spend in the first quarter, according to Kantar Media. Overall, U.S. advertising expenditures for the quarter were up 5.7% from a year earlier to $34.9 billion, the firm said. “The Winter Olympics delivered its expected windfall in the first quarter, adding about $600 million of incremental ad spending to the marketplace. But the nature of the event is that this money is narrowly distributed and doesn’t benefit all sectors of the market,” said Jon Swallen, Chief Research Officer at Kantar Media North America.
Learfield Sports entered an agreement to acquire SIDEARM Sports, which offers digital platforms serving over 700 collegiate athletic programs with customized web, social media, design and mobile content services. “We are very excited about this acquisition,” said Greg Brown, President and CEO of Learfield. “The SIDEARM platform provides athletic departments with an incredibly nimble and user-friendly platform.”
Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet offers a unique paint scheme for Saturday night’s NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series race and will be fully wrapped in World Vision colors to create awareness for the Christian global humanitarian organization. World Vision provides emergency assistance to those affected by natural disasters and civil conflict, works with communities to develop solutions to alleviate poverty and advocates on behalf of the poor.
Athlete representation agency The Legacy Agency signed 2014 NCAA Men’s Golf Champion Cameron Wilson to a management contract. TLA will handle all business deals for Wilson. In his senior year at Stanford, Wilson had 11 top-10 finishes, including the NCAA championship and two other wins.
Following Sunday’s World Cup match, Facebook reports that, globally, 10 million people had 20 million Facebook interactions (posts, comments, and likes)related to the 2-2 draw between the United States and Portugal. Stateside, more than 4 million people had over 7 million interactions related to the match.
CBSSports.com offers a new look in time for Fantasy Football season with the CBS Sports Fantasy app. The app will deliver completely redesigned leagues and new live drafting. Other tweaks will see a streamlined user experience across desktop, tablet and mobile with a focus on readability; a faster, sleeker GameTracker; retooled transaction pages; an enhanced news feed; and high quality photos and player pages with a trading card look and feel.
Broadcast service provider Bexel detailed its broadcast services for Univision and ESPN during the World Cup. For Univision, Bexel furnished a “complete production environment, first building out the studio at their headquarters in Burbank, testing it with Univision engineers and IT experts, and then breaking it down and shipping it so as to rebuild it on-site in Rio de Janeiro.” Bexel’s efforts for ESPN include “building a three-story master control area and two studio facilities on Clube dos Marimbás on the southern tip of Copacabana Beach to enable ESPN to broadcast all their FIFA World Cup Soccer competitions. All the technical components were first assembled and tested at Bexel’s Burbank facility as well, before being shipped to Brazil.”
Campus Insiders is offering special content and analysis for the June 26th NBA Draft. Content will include The First 14, video-on-demand (VOD) analysis of all 14 lottery selections. Hosted by Ray Crawford and Shae Peppler, with analysis from Jordan Cornette, the series will include an evaluation of the draftees’ strengths and weaknesses, how their skill sets will translate to the NBA, and an overall rating on whether a player is destined to be a future Hall of Famer, All-Star, role player or even a D-Leaguer. Other features include a Draft rewind, interviews and more.
Alli Sports has a new GM. The division of NBC Sports Ventures named Chris Stiepock as Vice President, General Manager, Dew Tour where he will oversee daily operations and sales efforts for the Dew Tour, which consists of four marquee events, featuring disciplines across BMX, skateboard, freeski and snowboard. Stiepock previously served as Vice President, Global Event Management, ESPN X Games Events.
Italy/Uruguay on ESPN/Univision at noon.
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ON THIS DAY in 1995: Nelson Mandela watches as South Africa defeats New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup finals in Johannesburg.
In The Know:Which university did Tiger Woods play for? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: Who was the last American to be named the gentlemen’s singles champion at Wimbledon? Answer: Pete Sampras. Kudos: Scott Henkle-WestwoodOne/NY; Kristen Bona-OMD/NY; Bob Dudelson-Cross Mediaworks/NY; Tom Turner-Active International/NY; Gordon Beck-Beck Communications LLC/Northeast Harbor; Randy Ingram-WBTW-TV/Myrtle Beach; Mike Wexler-Moroch/Atlanta; RT Harris-WideOrbit/Detroit; Lucie Prann-The Richards Group/Dallas; Will Allmendinger-Zoom Media/Chicago; Karl Duesterhaus-Continental TV Sales/Chicago; Tamara Brcka-Fox Consumer Products/LA; Jack Simmons-Fox Sports/LA; Adam Deverell-Cox Reps/LA; Khalil Garriott-Yahoo Sports/LA.
Later — Chris
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